Posts which have been tagged with: programs.

Rajkala in Paris.

Rajkala speaking to french supporters.

 

On november 10th Rajkala – the founder and president of Sharana – came to Paris to meet about 150 supporter from France. Throughout the event which took place at l’Eglise Réformée de la Rencontre, Rajkala spoke about the status of the current programs and illustrated this with plenty of moving case studies and stories from the field. Moreover her presentation discussed four focal points Sharana will have in the time to come: Expanding rural development, ensuring the right to education, developing vocational training and leading more children to higher education.

 

Some of the slides which were presented throughout the day:

 

Impressive facts and figures.

 

 

Majority of donations come under the collective sponsorship program and were spent mainly in the village program of Mathur, followed by Angalakuppam.

 

In the section „Vision“ Rajkala pointed out, how important it is using the already existing social centers and building facilities to provide more community members with greater access to educational, health, sanitation and training rescources. Expanding the micro-credit programms in the villages will support this goal. Beside that Sharana will focus more on the development of ist human resources among the existing Sharana staff and build capacities, develop skills and ensure that staff undergoes appropriate professional training necessary for their ever more demanding jobs. Finally Rajkala pointed out, that the development of new partnerships will be crucial to continue the successful work. Partnering with government agencies in india, partnering also with international development agencies (i.e. ADMCF, AFID, Tulane University). Already today Sharana maintains partnerships with organisations in the US, UK, the Netherlands and Germany – not to speak about the strong ties Sharana has to its French parter organisation. All participants of the meeting had lunch together and many participants were continuing the conversations long after the official ending oft he event. Some nice pictures from the gathering done by our German friend Peter can be viewed on Flickr. In a way it was a historic moment, since first time in more then 10 years of Sharanas history there was a meeting held in the capital of france.

 

Lead more children to higher education - the number of children who qualify to higher education is growing strongly. We see this as a result of the good work we do with younger children.

Street and Slum Programs

Street and Slum Programs: Gayatri House

All Programs described on this page are dedicated to empowering destitute children in Pondicherry town, and providing them with health, educational, and emotional rehabilitation. Social workers identify many of these children from migrant, itinerant, and homeless populations, encourage them to visit Gayatri House. Gayatri House is a centre for young children from streets and slums, situated on Bharati Street in Pondicherry Town. Gayatri House programs are described below. This program is currently being supported by Fonds du Coeur.

Crèche

Children who attend this program are between 0 to 3 years old. Around 30 children come to the crèche every day.
When some of the parents are not free or capable of dropping their children to Gayatri House, our social workers pick them up in the mornings by van/scooter, and return them to their parents in the evenings. The aim of the Crèche is to provide a safe, structured environment for young children, off the streets.
After reaching the centre, children are given a bath, clean clothes and breakfast by our early childhood teachers. Basic first aid is provided on site and for any major health issues the children are taken to the hospital.
Jaya, the teacher in charge of the Crèche always tries to have children do some relaxation activities before starting the day. She then takes them through the daily activities and games planned for the children.
After lunch (provided by the Gayatri House), kids usually take a long nap. This rest time is a very important moment since a lot of them are sleep deprived due to their place of living (street and slum).

The Crèche operates between 9 am to 4:30 pm Monday- Friday, and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

Pre-school

Children who attend this Program are between 3 to 6 years old. Around 25 children come to the preschool every day.
The aim (like the crèche) is to provide them a safe and structured environment, off the streets but also to prepare them in the best way possible to their future schooling.
Rani, the teacher in charge of the preschool program, prepares daily activities. She teaches them numbers, the alphabet, music, and crafts. Every day, the children are also encouraged to share their feelings: sadness, happiness etc.

The Preschool operates, as the Crèche, between 9 am to 4:30 pm Monday- Friday, and 9am-1pm on Saturdays.

Drop-In Centre

The Drop-in Centre welcomes children from ages 7 years and above (so who are supposed to attend school); those children, who for different reasons (family problems, health problems etc) don’t go to school. The aim of the Program is to offer to those children a safe place and basic education and to re-integrate them into the classical schooling system. This centre also makes sure that children are not exploited as child labor, and attends to problems related to being alone on the streets and slums like sexual abuse.

The Gayatri House staff and social workers are always there to listen to the needs and problems of the children of the drop-in centre; they then provide counseling, and guide them into mainstream education and/or vocational training.

The drop-in centre is open to children between 10am and 5pm Monday- Friday, and 9am-1pm on Saturdays. Only a few children attend the Drop-In Centre during the week, but the program can have as many as 60 attendees on weekends.

Services provided in the Gayatri House centre include:
• Games and educational materials
• Television and DVD player with cartoons/educational videos
• Bathing facilities
• Full time cook and meals
• Staff trained in basic first aid with medical equipment on site
• Immediate referrals to the nearby Clinics/Government hospitals for sick children.
• Regular dialogue with the children to motivate behavioural and attitudinal development
• Drug/Alcohol Addiction Awareness, Sexual Health and Harm Reduction sessions
• Ongoing monitoring of progress in terms of education, social and behavioral development and of their relationships with their families
• Referrals to partner organizations in the cases of children with special needs.
The Gayatri House regularly welcomes specialized professional volunteers who come to present specific activities for the children (Music, dance therapy).
The Gayatri House has been lucky to have Caroline, a French art therapist who comes three times a week for the children, for almost 2 years now. The activity is a huge success. This activity is a chance for the children to externalize and express their feelings, and direct their creative energies into painting. Participants have shown tremendous improvement in two years.

Mobile Outreach Unit

The ability to reach children where they live and work has always represented a fundamental aspect of Sharana’s work. The mobile outreach unit has a dedicated van that transports books and other educational games and materials to the six slums in and around Pondicherry town. Every evening, the Mobile Outreach Unit works with local communities to build trust so that children can be encouraged to come to the drop-in centre and other programs of the Gayatri house.
The team of social workers operates daily in specific areas and becomes the direct point of contact between Sharana and the children, their families, indeed their communities. The purpose of the Program is not only to make educational and recreational activities with the children, but equally to build a relationship with individuals and communities, and crucially to build confidence and trust. Social workers carry a kit comprised of materials for basic health and hygiene, first aid, small games, books, and notebooks. It is with these materials that first contact can be established, and young children initially engaged.

To find out how you can donate towards Sharana Programs, please click here.

Health and Nutrition


Sharana’s social development projects are centrally concerned with addressing communities’ nutritional needs by providing fresh and balanced meals at its creches and community centers. Each community center has a functioning kitchen and a cook who is responsible for procuring vegetables and other staples daily, and supplying fresh meals according to a preset menu to children enrolled in the creches and at summer camps. At the Homework Help Center (and at homework help sessions held at village centers), children also receive milk and snacks that are supplemented with spirulina, produced at Sharana’s own facility in Aranganur. Bananas and other fruit and vegetables grown in Aranganur are distributed to beneficiary children and/or supplied to the community center kitchens.